In recent years, the fashion industry has faced increased scrutiny for its environmental impact. Many companies have begun to explore innovative and sustainable practices, and PANGAIA is one such brand that has taken a unique approach to sustainability with its 3D printed Absolute Sneaker created in collaboration with the footwear innovator Zellerfeld.
The Absolute Sneaker is 3D printed on-demand, making it a zero-waste product. By using a 3D printing process, PANGAIA is able to produce each shoe precisely to fit the customer’s foot, thus eliminating the need for excess materials and wastage.
This approach is a significant departure from the traditional shoe manufacturing process, which often involves mass production and leaves behind a significant environmental footprint. The 3D printing process used by PANGAIA also allows for the easy customization of each shoe, ensuring that the customers receive products that is unique and tailored to their needs.
In addition to that, the shoe is designed to be easily disassembled. Therefore, it is easy to recycle or reuse the individual components once they have reached the end of their lifecycle.
One minor problem
Currently, the only material that can be used with this technology is TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane). Though it is quite versatile and used in many sneakers, it is plastic and therefore fossil fuel-based.
However, exactly the use of a single material for this sneaker (compared to more than 40 in a conventional sneaker) is enabling its full recyclability. Additionally, PANGAIA is working hand-in-hand with Zellerfeld to develop a renewable material that will replace the TPU in the future.
Production, shipping and return
According to PANGAIA’s website, the printing of a pair of sneakers takes approximately 40 hours. Zellerfeld, which is headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, handles both the production and the shipping.
At the end of the sneakers’ lifecycle, the customers can return them to Zellerfeld and will receive a coupon code for $30 against their next PANGAIA purchase.
Design and comfort
Currently, these sneakers do not look like the most fashionable options out there. However, Zellerfeld is known for its futuristic designs and the design will for sure evolve in the future. Hopefully, more colors will also be added as currently the Absolute Sneakers are available only in black and beige.
On the bright side, the shoes can be tailor-made, they are breathable and with a splash-proof sole, which adds extra level of comfort and desirability.
So, would you invest in a pair of Absolute Sneakers today?
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